The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) announced the opening of a National Online Dialogue about the use of subminimum wages. It is seeking ideas, experiences, and stories from advocates. This dialogue will continue until June 14.
It is critical that all affiliates engage with this dialogue. Currently, supporters of sub minimum wage certificates are dominating the conversation. The below is an analysis conducted by Dr. Arielle Silverman on the comments currently received.
*92% of the 71 parent/family members who commented are in favor of special wages. So are 82% of the 39 disability service providers who commented (including people who work for agencies holding special wage certificates). But *82% of the 17 commenters who said they are actually-disabled themselves are opposed to special wages. So are all four of the community employers who commented, describing their inclusive hiring practices and the benefits of an integrated workplace. *Of the total codable comments so far, 45% came from family members but only 11% came from actually-disabled people.
Let’s increase the number of disabled commenters opposed to the use of 14(c) certificates.
The National Federation of the Blind opposes the use of subminimum wages for people with disabilities and our members have been active at the state and federal level. Our continued advocacy has already initiated a growing number of states to pass legislation or policies that prohibit the use subminimum wages. Likewise, the NFB supports the passage of the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (H.R. 873/S. 260), a federal piece of legislation calling for the phase out of subminimum wages over a six-year period.
May 28, 2019 Department of Labor announcement with link to submit your comments
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), through its ePolicyWorks initiative, is hosting this national online dialogue to gather perspectives on Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Please share your ideas, individual stories, and personal experiences illustrating the impact of Section 14(c) on the employment of people with disabilities.
The goal of this online dialogue is to capture perspectives about Section 14(c) based on individual input from those “on the ground.” Information gleaned from the comments will then be summarized to provide ODEP an overview of Section 14(c) at the state and national levels.
The Section 14(c) National Online Dialogue